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New taro leaf blight disease resistant variety

October 9, 2017 10:26 pm

Fiji is working on a new variety of dalo which will be resistant to taro leaf blight disease.

Taro leaf blight is caused by an oomycete (water mould), Phytophthora colocasiae and currently poses a major threat to the dalo industry.

Principal Research Officer, Savenaca Cuquma, says we are free from this disease at present but necessary actions must be taken to prevent it from decimating the dalo industry.

A project is being carried out at the Koronivia Research Station since 2003, funded by the Pacific Community (SPC).

Cuquma says after years of research, they have managed to produce the cycle one breeding lines which is a result of cross pollination of 10 selected local varieties with seven Samoan breeding lines including some from Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia.

The research will continue for another two years before the new variety is released to the farmers.